Archive for July, 2011

Swedish Fooditure

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You know that place where you get the cheap Swedish furniture?  Well, it doubles as one of Dain’s favorite places to grab lunch.  Seriously.  Swedish furniture.  Swedish meatballs.  Welcome to the Dainiverse.  The rest of us just happen to be living in it.  Dain brings up Ikea’s food every time we are within a five mile radius, and he intentionally plans our trips around a mealtime.  All for a plate of 15 teeny tiny meatballs with lingonberries and mashed potatoes.  Where else can you get all that for $3.99?  Probably nowhere. Which is why we thought the Ikea restaurant was worthy of Foodie Friday.

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Custom Art to Cover the T.V.

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We’ve gone to a lot of trouble to have a t.v. in our living room. Which is laughable because we currently get 10 channels.  By choice (or at least that’s what we tell ourselves in our quest to be more productive and less Bravo obsessed). As we mentioned yesterday, the first problem was the lack of a working cable outlet which necessitated the installation of a cable hanging out the side of our house (which we finally disguised here).  Another obstacle was where to put the t.v. in our relatively small dining room/living room since we did not have room for a console.  We ended up hanging it on the wall thanks to an affordable wall mount from Monoprice.  That only left a need to hide the black beast.  Not really a need.  More of a desire.  Of mine.  That Dain indulged.  The end result being a custom piece of art perfectly sized to disguise our television.

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Disappearing (Cable) Act

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You may recall an unsightly black cable sticking out of the left side of our house on the yard tour we posted a few months ago.  It kind of fit in with that whole side of our house since we have done nothing over there in anticipation of a big tree removing, retaining wall installing, and fence building party that we hope to plan this fall.  Well, thanks to Dain being bred for his skills in magic, he made it disappear. It is an incredible improvement that came in at a grand total of under 2 dollars.  Holla.

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Toilet Talk

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We can’t help from sharing our latest bathroom addition.  Don’t worry, it is nothing gross or unpleasant.  It is actually very green.  A dual flush converter.  Say what?  A dual flush converter.  Or a d.f.c. for those in the know (slash those of us who just assume others use that acronym for the sake of blog brevity).  A d.f.c. is essentially a kit that transforms your normal toilet into a dual flush dynamo.  With the installation of it, your toilet has two flush modes: one quick flush for liquids and one for solids.  This allows you to use up to 70% less water on the quick flush and to save thousands of gallons of water every year.  Let us introduce you to ours.

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We Heart Missouri

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Our apologies for a late post today.  We have been sweating it out in Missouri for the past few days visiting family.  While we have been there before, it was our first trip together to the Lake of the Ozarks area, which is slightly reminiscent of Minnesota lakes but with much larger boats, much hotter water, and a lot less clothing (at least in “Party Cove”).  Getting there was an adventure in and of itself.  By the time Friday was over, we had used 9 different modes of transportation.  Here’s how we pulled it off.

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Summer Sangria Recipe

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Not that the sangria season should be limited.  I regularly make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings because it is a great party drink that you can make ahead of time.  I also make it in red and white varieties, but something about white wine makes Dain pretend to gag.  Unless it’s free.  Then he will happily imbibe if that is the only choice.  That’s how he rolls.  So we usually make red sangria to accommodate Dain, and there is no better time to make it than during the hot summer months.  Something about summer just screams cold and fruity drink on ice.  Especially when you’re coping with the fact that it is 113 degrees warmer than it was five months ago like we were this week.  Here’s how we make our sangria sparkle.

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A Mini Minnesota Just for You

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In case you haven’t noticed, we are pretty enamored with our state.  So much that we like to display our Minnesota love.  Dain made me a mini Minnesota painting on canvas months ago because he knows that I am a sucker for all things teeny tiny.  And for glitter.  He nailed it when he made mine pink with a white glittery Minnesota on it.  Now we are adding them to our store so that you can bring your very own mini Minnesota to a home near you. Don’t worry, we do have other colors for those who fail to appreciate the glitter factor.  And we’re sharing how we do it in case you want to make your own or make one with a different state since we hear there are 49 others that may also be art-worthy.

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Making it Work with a Petite Pantry

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When you are a first time homebuyer, it is inevitable that you will have to compromise on a few of your wish list items for a house.  One item that fell by the wayside for us?  A pantry.  We suffer from pantry envy at many people’s homes, especially houses with a walk-in pantry.  At 1600 square feet, we do not have a walk-in anything at our house.  We currently smash our typical pantry items into a look-in cabinet.  While it is incredibly annoying, it does help us keep our extreme couponing in check since we don’t have room for a box of cereal let alone a lifetime supply of mustard for our whole neighborhood.  However, we recently found a way to expand our pantry into a slightly larger and much more functional space.

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Letting the Sun Shine In

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To our sun porch that is.  And thanks to a little Mango Madness, it now looks like it is aglow.  We’ve been procrastinating thinking about our sun porch ever since we laid out our master plan a couple of months ago, but after choosing our wall color a few weeks back, we have been making progress.  Mostly in the form of thinking about it and talking about it and perusing the Home Depot.  But now we have a little bit of tangible proof that we haven’t forgotten our little sun porch.  Which is more like a sauna in the abnormal heat wave that Minnesota has been experiencing the past few days.  With fresh paint on the wall (that we hope will dry in this wild humidity), we know where we are headed with our redo.

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Living Room Frame Gallery. Done and Done.

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At least for now.  We’ve shared our plan and our process over the past few weeks, and now that we have officially completed our original frame wall layout, it’s inevitable that we need even more frames to take it all the way up and over.  Mostly because we love it, and it is kind of addicting.  We sort of randomly chose things to go on our wall, but now that I step back and look at it, it is a true reflection of us and some of the most important aspects of our lives: each other, family, travel and adventure, humor, and a few things that we just like.  Enough said.

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